Zardari rules out early polls

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Talking about the electoral reforms bill passed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, Zardari said the law is the entire point of contention…reports Asian Lite News

Former Pakistan President and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari has opposed the calls to hold early elections in the country to overcome political uncertainty that has marred the stock market and hindered economic revival, media reports said.

“Last night I spoke to Mian Sahib and convinced him,” Zardari told a press conference Wednesday at Sindh’s Chief Minister House, Samaa TV reported.

He said that Imran Khan was demanding early elections and the PPP was not afraid of polls, but it wanted electoral reforms before holding the polls.

“In our game plan, elections would come after electoral reforms,” he added, Samaa TV reported.

Talking about the electoral reforms bill passed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, he said the law is the entire point of contention.

He said the current coalition government has plans to change the law as it has left the room through which a selected government could be brought in the future.

“We have to do electoral reforms, NAB reforms [and other reforms to fix] the economy [which is] at a brink that people don’t even want to give you money,” said Zardari.

He said whoever would take the power had to deal with these challenges, so it is only better that the current government deal with them.

Zardari said unless the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme gets back on track, the country would face economic difficulty, Samaa TV reported.

He said the government was reluctant to increase the petrol prices as it would lead to more inflation.

He also called for “out of the box solutions” to fix the economy.

Meanwhile, ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed that Americans propped Shehbaz Sharif into power after removing him like the British removed Siraj-ud-Dualah and installed Mir Jafar.

Addressing a rally in Jhelum on Tuesday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief explained who he referred to when he made a historical reference about Mir Jafar, Samaa TV reported.

Talking about the anti-army accusations, Khan clarified that he did not criticise the armed forces as they were a crucial force that was holding the country together.

“Two things are holding Pakistan together, the army and PTI,” he added.

“Yesterday he (Sharif) made a speech (in the National Assembly) saying that Imran Khan was talking against the army. We won’t let him do that,” he said.

“Shehbaz Sharif, have shame, have some shame. You are the Mir Jafar.”

He said PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and vice president Maryam Nawaz were speaking against the army, not him.

The PTI chief, once again, maintained US Under Secretary Donald Lu told Pakistan’s Ambassador that if Khan was ousted, then “everything will be forgiven”.

“He said that if (Khan) is not removed, then Pakistan will face grave consequences,” the PTI chairman told his party workers, adding that following this, a “conspiracy” was launched to remove an elected leader of 220 million people.

“When ‘cherry blossom’ was placed as the Prime Minister, the nation ‘stood’ against the government,” he said.

Taking a jibe at JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Khan said that his party took up the Ministry of Communications which develops streets and highways to make money, Samaa TV reported.

“Nawaz Sharif is a coward and a thief who flees abroad whenever he gets the chance to,” he said, adding that the prime minister and other PML-N leaders are set to leave for London as, Khan claimed, “a big decision” is on the cards

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